Skip to main content

MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon Review: Core i9 Value?

How We Test

We’re comparing the current MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon to our first-reviewed Z390 sample, the Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master, as well as the two models that the new boards are intended (by their manufacturers) to replace, the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon and Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7, respectively.

SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated gigabit networking
Graphics DriverGeForce 399.24

The same platform that cooled the ten cores of our Core i9-7900X works equally well with the eight cores of the Core i9-9900K, as we’ll show in the overclocking evaluation on the next page.

Comparison Products

Benchmark Settings

Synthetic Benchmarks & Settings
PCMark 8Version 2.7.613Home, Creative, Work, Storage, Applications (Adobe & Microsoft)
3DMark 13Version 4.47.597.0Skydiver, Firestrike, Firestrike Extreme Default Presets
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2016.03.22.21CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth
DiskSPD4K Random Read, 4K Random Write128K Sequential Read, 128K Sequential Write
Cinebench R15Build RC83328DEMOOpenGL Benchmark
CompuBenchVersion 1.5.8Face Detection, Optical Flow, Ocean Surface, Ray Tracing
Application Tests & Settings
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x265 mp4
BlenderVersion 2.68aBMW 27 CPU Render Benchmark, BMW 27 GPU Render Benchmark
7-ZipVersion 16.02THG-Workload (7.6GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=9"
Adobe After Effects CCRelease 2015.3.0, Version 13.8.0.144PCMark-driven routine
Adobe Photoshop CCRelease 2015.5.0, 20160603.r.88 x64PCMark-driven routine (light and heavy)
Adobe InDesign CCRelease 2015.4, Build 11.4.0.90 x64PCMark-driven routine
Adobe IllustratorRelease 2015.3.0, Version 20.0.0 (64-bit)PCMark-driven routine
Game Tests & Settings
Ashes of the SingularityVersion 1.31.21360High Preset - 1920 x 1080, Mid Shadow Quality, 1x MSAACrazy Preset - 1920 x 1080, High Shadow Quality, 2x MSAA
F1 20152015 Season, Abu Dhabi track, RainMedium Preset, no AFUltra High Preset, 16x AF
Metro: Last Light ReduxVersion 3.00 x64High Quality, 1920 x 1080, High Tesselation, 16x AFVery High Quality, 1920 x 1080, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF
The Talos PrincipleVersion 267252Medium Preset, High Quality, High Tesselation, 4x AFUltra Preset, Very High Quality, Very High Tesselation, 16x AF

MORE: Best Motherboards

MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

MORE: All Motherboard Content

  • rantoc
    They say its SLI capable but yet have the same "stupid" 3 slots spacing resulting in the typical air starvation of the main card since it will be obstructed by the second card. Todays big custom air cooled cards are 2.5 to 3 pcie slots wide, not the old typical 2 pcie - When will the MB makers "evolve" to the new width of the cards for multigpu and who will be the first?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21416966 said:
    They say its SLI capable but yet have the same "stupid" 3 slots spacing resulting in the typical air starvation of the main card since it will be obstructed by the second card. Todays big custom air cooled cards are 2.5 to 3 pcie slots wide, not the old typical 2 pcie - When will the MB makers "evolve" to the new width of the cards for multigpu and who will be the first?
    Even the founder's edition cards are only two slots, and most of the oversized cards are 2.5 slots. A 3-slot cooling design is a defective design, and such cards should be called out for that. We're already putting the top x16 slot in the case's 2nd slot hole to make space for oversized CPU coolers, voltage regulators and DIMM cooling, and there's a scarcity of 8-slot cases, so two three-slot cards' at 4-slot spacing doesn't even make sense. For those reseaons, if I review a board with the 2nd x16 slot aligned to the cases 6th card hole, I'll probably just write it off as a bad idea.
    Reply
  • wakoavo
    Great informative article !

    I have a question: Since the MPG z390 Gaming AC has the same VRM design, would that mean that it would be ok to pair a 9900k with it ? I recently got the Gaming AC model (won it online lolz) and was wondering if it would be able to control the 9900k xD
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21478211 said:
    Great informative article !

    I have a question: Since the MPG z390 Gaming AC has the same VRM design, would that mean that it would be ok to pair a 9900k with it ? I recently got the Gaming AC model (won it online lolz) and was wondering if it would be able to control the 9900k xD
    They're the same board, this one even has the slot for the AC card, so everything said here applies there.
    Reply